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Published by: canofspam22 on Feb 18, 2012
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can’t say or certain, but I’ve got to admit that i this wholespy thing doesn’t work out, I might seriously consider joining aconvent. Really, when you think about it, it’s not that dierent
from life at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young
Women.You’ve got old stone walls and an ancient sisterhood, a col-lection o women who eel the same calling and are all work-ing toward a higher purpose. Oh, and neither place gives you awhole lot o say on your wardrobe.
At noon the next day, the Mother Superior said that I
could have a pair o shoes, and the sisters lent me a coat. Theclothes Mary laid on my bed were clean and neatly mended,but they seemed entirely too small.“Im sorry but . . . I dont think these will ft.“They ought to,” Mary said with a giggle. “They’re yours.”Mine.I fngered the sot cotton pants and old sweatshirt I would
have sworn I’d never seen beore. The clothes were worn, livedin, and I didn’t let mysel think about all the living I could nolonger remember doing.“There,” Mary said, watching me tie the drawstring on the
pants that ft my new body perectly. “I bet you eel just like your
old sel, now, don’t ya?”
“Yes,” I said, and Mary smiled at me so sweetly that I almost
elt guilty or the lie.They told me I should rest, that I needed my strength and
my sleep, but I didnt want to wake up again and fnd it was past
Christmas, New Year’s, that my eighteenth birthday had comeand gone without my knowledge; so instead I went outside.As I stepped onto the small path that led to the conventdoor, I knew it was October, but I was unprepared to eel thechill. Snow covered everything. The branches o the trees were
heavy overhead, snapping under the weight of the wet whiteclumps, crashing through the forest. They made a noise that
was too loud—like rie shots in the cold, thin air. I jumped atevery sound and shadow, and I honestly didn’t know which wasworse—that I couldn’t remember the last our months, or thator the frst time in my lie I had absolutely no idea which way
was north. I kept the convent saely in my sight, terrifed o going
too ar, not knowing how much more lost I could possibly be.
“We found you there.” Mary must have followed me,because when I turned, she was behind me. Her strawberry
hair was blowing ree rom her habit as she stood there, staringat a river that raged at the bottom o a rocky, steep ravine. Shepointed to the bank. “On the big rock near that allen tree.
“Was I awake?” I asked.
“Barely.” Mary shoved her hands into her pockets and shiv-ered. “When we ound you, you were mumbling. Talking crazy.
“What did I say?” I asked. Mary started shaking her head,but something about me must have told her that I wasn’t goingto rest until I knew, because she took a deep breath.‘It’s true,” the girl said, and shivered again in a way that Iknew had nothing to do with the chill. “You said,
It’s true
. Andthen you passed out in my arms.”
There is something especially cruel about irony. I couldrecite a thousand random facts about the Alps. I could tell
you the average precipitation and identiy a hal dozen edibleplants. I knew so many things about those mountains in thatmoment—everything but how I’d reached them.Mary studied the river below and then turned her gaze tome. “You must be a strong swimmer.”“I am,” I said, but, skinny and weak as I was, Mary seemedto doubt it. She nodded slowly and turned back to the banks.“The river is highest in the spring. That’s when the snow
melts, and the water is so ast—it’s like the river’s angry. It scaresme. I wont go near it. In the winter, everything reezes, and thewater’s barely a trickle, all rocks and ice.” She looked at me and
nodded. “You’re lucky you ell when you did. Any other time o year and you would have died or sure.”“Lucky,” I repeated to mysel.I didn’t know i it was altitude, or atigue, or the sight o the mountains that loomed around us, but it was harder thanit should have been to breathe.

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